COMMON SENSE: Week of February 9

The New York State Conservative Party chaired by Bay Ridge’sMike Long held a very successfulpolitical action conference (CPAC) in Albany recently. It is the50th anniversary of the founding of the Conservative Party.

To begin a year of celebrations, this year’s conference heard fromsome well-known former Conservative Party office holders. SenatorAlfonse D’Amato talked about his18 years in the U.S. Senate and this year’s presidentialrace.

Former Governor George Pataki was the keynotespeaker at the lunch. Former attorney general candidateDennis Vacco and comptroller candidateHerb London also came by to address the manyconservative activists from all around the state.

I had the honor of introducing David KeeneAnd it is true for many Americans — including the better then twomillion who are NRA members — the organization is more of a civilrights organization than a rifle and sportsperson group.

The event ends with a Monday night dinner attended by ConservativeParty members of the state legislature. The Brooklyn ConservativeParty delegation consists of Assemblymembers NicoleMalliotakis of Bay Ridge and RafaelEspinal of East New York, and State SenatorMarty GoldenThe large Brooklyn Conservative Party contingent at the two-dayconference included Alice GaffneyFranVella–MarronePaulBalukasRoss BradyJimMurrayJanet KassarEileenLongCartrell GoreMichaelFreeman and David Ryan.

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Speaking of State Senator Marty Golden, he will be opposed forre-election by 26-year-old Eagle Scout AndrewGounardes. Golden carries Republican, Conservative andIndependence Party support, and Gounardes the Democratic

It will be interesting to see if Gounardes, who often speaks aboutwhat he perceives as a changing community, will seek theendorsement of the far-leaning-left Working Families Party. Basedon what Mr. Gounardes has been saying on issues ranging fromincreased taxes to support for same sex marriage, he would be agood fit for a political party that prides itself on biggergovernment and support for all Obama all the time.

In any event, Senator Golden goes about his business in a diversedistrict running from Bay Ridge to Marine Park.

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The Bay Ridge Community Council’s annual president’s lunch was asusual a wonderful gathering of Bay Ridge’s many civic, politicaland religious leaders, held at the Bay Ridge Manor. The better than100 guests heard President Alex Conti talk of thepast year and give some well-deserved recognition to the manybehind-the-scenes individuals who make the council work.

Arlene Keating was great as the master of ceremonies, and the manyelected officials who spoke added a number of light touches intheir remarks that made the afternoon quite enjoyable.

Congratulations to the presidents, officers and delegates of thecouncil.

Jerry Kassar is the chairperson of the Kings CountyConservative Party. He is a longtime community activist who hasserved as an officer or member of many organizations. He works forthe state of New York.

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